WALLA WALLA - A local man who pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Walla Walla Swim Club last year was handed a suspended jail sentence Monday afternoon, but he will spend time on electronic home monitoring and on the Department of Corrections work crew.
Geoffrey E. Forcum was sentenced to a year in the County Jail, with 335 days suspended. The balance of 30 days was converted to 15 days of electronic home monitoring (with release for work) and 15 days on the work crew.
In a plea agreement, the prosecution was recommending no jail time.
Forcum pleaded guilty April 5 to two gross-misdemeanor counts of third-degree theft. He had been accused of five felonies, including one count of second-degree theft and four counts of forgery, but the case was reduced in exchange for his guilty pleas.
Before Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann imposed the sentence, Forcum said he is very sorry and, with the help of counseling, "I have realized that what I did was wrong."
But Lohrmann later told Forcum he should have realized it was wrong from the beginning. "What you did was reprehensible," Lohrmann said.
Forcum already has repaid the $4,827 stolen from the nonprofit swim club, officials said. He also was ordered Monday to pay an additional $892.50 in restitution for accounting fees accrued in determining the club's loss.
Officials said Forcum, 38, of 35 Buttonquail Lane, started writing checks to himself on the swim team's account in early May of 2009. In September, the club's treasurer, Pam Klem, reported to police the questionable checks and withdrawals. She also discovered that Forcum forged her name on several checks, according to a police report filed in court.
Forcum told a detective in October that at times he needed money, but paid it back. However, there was no record of Forcum having returned money, according to the report. Forcum also said some of the checks were to reimburse himself for swim club expenses, the report says.
He reportedly was removed from the club's presidency early last fall.